Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fighting over journalists

Posted by John McHale

Ok, maybe not fighting but sponsoring companies of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) were flipping coins to see who got which journalist at their table at the AIA Year-End Review and Forecast luncheon last week at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

BAE Systems beat out DRS Technologies in the very hotly contested McHale sweepstakes. Gotta love America -- where else can you find multi-billion dollar companies flipping quarters to hob nob with disheveled tech writers.

Seriously, it was a good event. I was covering it for Avionics Intelligence, our new website and e-newsletter that covers aviation electronics.

The AIA forecast was remarkably positive for the next year, predicting growth of 4.8 percent in 2009. I've been hearing good vibes from my defense contacts as well. They say their backlog is all set for next year and that they barely have time to field all the orders coming in for military electronics.

It is a much rosier view than that of my brother, who is in private equity. He fears unemployment may hit 12 percent by June.

If the other markets tank, I hope our industry can hold steady till the business cycle turns.

In aviation a lot will depend on how the global economy holds up as much of the backlog for commercial aircraft comes from foreign orders.

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